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Archive for the ‘Obamacare’ Category

Democrat Offers a Reality Check on Obamacare

Posted by Steve Markowitz on November 14, 2014

The 2014 midterm elections are nearly two weeks behind us.  The historic defeat for Democrats and President Obama’s policies continue to reverberate throughout the media.

Today’s Wall Street Journal includes an op-ed, posted in its entirety below, from a lifelong Democrat titled This Democrat Is Giving Up on ObamaCare.  Cutting through the scandals and many problems that plagued the Administration during the last six years, Burke Beu, a social service counselor from Denver, Colorado, proffers the view that Obamacare, the President’s supposed signature achievement, is the main culprit behind the Democrat’s recent whopping.

Beu concludes:

I voted for Barack Obama  in 2008, then lost my job in the Great Recession. ….. I survived on part-time jobs while paying out-of-pocket for my health insurance.  I voted for President Obama again in 2012, then received a cancellation notice for my health insurance.  This was due to ObamaCare, the so-called Affordable Care Act.  However, I couldn’t afford anything else.

ObamaCare is a failure. …  It punishes responsible consumers like me and treats younger individuals as fools who are expected to pay the bills while not paying attention.

Now we learn in videos that came to light this week that Jonathan Gruber, MIT economist and a key architect of the Affordable Care Act, proudly relied on his perceived “stupidity of the American voter” as the basis for designing ObamaCare.  Such comments, along with the program’s notoriously dysfunctional website and false assurances that people can keep their previous health plans, are insults to every citizen regardless of party.

…, ObamaCare looks and feels exactly like what it is: a health-care plan devised by lawyers and corporate executives rather than true health-care providers.  ….  We claim to be the party of the underdogs, but on ObamaCare we simply catered to a different set of fat cats.

When the next Congress convenes in 2015, Democrats need to work with the new Republican majority, repeal ObamaCare, override a presidential veto if necessary, and start from scratch on health-care reform.

Mr. Beu, a realist, has been on the receiving end of bad policies promoted by Obama and his allies in Congress.  Will Obama listen to middle-of-the-road Democrats like Beu?  Unlikely.  A few days before his first term victory Barack Obama promised to fundamentally change America.  That goal remains his primary focus irrespective of damage that results from his radical-leftist policies.  Mr. Beu, you are but collateral damage.

This Democrat Is Giving Up on ObamaCare, By BURKE BEU, Nov. 13, 2014

The disastrous rollout of the Affordable Care Act was the catalyst for my party’s midterm thumping.

I grew up in a Democratic family.  I have been a registered Democrat since age 18, a Democratic candidate for statewide office in Colorado and a party precinct captain in that caucus state.  I’ve volunteered for numerous Democratic candidates and contributed to party causes and campaigns.  The 2014 election results were extremely disappointing for me, but hardly a surprise. Read the rest of this entry »

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Obamacare Insider Admits to Deceiving Americans

Posted by Steve Markowitz on November 11, 2014

In an incredible show of disdain for the People, Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber was caught on tape bragging about how the Administration bamboozled the electorate.  While speaking at the Workers Compensation Research Institute in Boston, Massachusetts earlier this year, the MIT economist, who served as a technical consultant for Obamacare, said in the video posted below:

“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes.  If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies.  Okay, so it’s written to do that.  In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in – you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passé.  Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.  And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical for the thing to pass.  Look, I wish Mark was right that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.”

So here you have it.  The Obama Administration lied to the American People in order to pass a bill that could not have passed through honesty.  Gruber has the gall to publicly state that the ends justify the means.  He seems oblivious to history that has demonstrated that some really bad things have occurred when governments take this approach.

Had the American Affordable Care Act truly been affordable they could have honestly presented the reality of this bill to the People.  The fact that they used dishonesty to get it passed proves it will be anything but affordable.

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Dr. Ben Carson Takes NBC’s David Gregory to the Woodshed

Posted by Steve Markowitz on May 21, 2014

Earlier today this Blog posted a video of Dr. Benjamin Carson schooling the ladies (and gentlemen) on The View concerning the debilitating effects of welfare on its recipients. This follows an exchange last weekend between Carson and NBC’s “Meet the Press” host, David Gregory, on comments Carson made concerning Obamacare. With typical Leftist modus operandi, Gregory attacked Carson’s words instead of the thesis of his argument against Obamacare. However, unlike many of the lightweight Republicans politicians, Carson did not cower and appropriately schooled Gregory on the issue, as seen in the video below.

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Joe Biden Calls Job Losses from Obamacare’s a Good Thing

Posted by Steve Markowitz on March 2, 2014

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report last week estimating that Obamacare (Affordable Healthcare Act) will result in approximately 2,000,000 jobs lost in the United States.  VP Joe Biden recently on The View was asked about this consequence of the Act and his incredible answer was: “Look, this is a really good report.”  Yikes!

In justifying his response, Biden turned the discussion into a gender warfare issue indicating that women, who currently need to work to have healthcare coverage, will no longer need to do so.  That will supposedly allow them, to spend more time with their children.

For years those with basic economic understanding and common sense have expressed concern about the slippery slope that entitlements take the country.  As more sugar is handed out by the government, motivation to work decreases along with the structural unemployment.  Liberals have historically argued against this rationale, ignoring basic factors of human nature and greed.  Leave it to Joe Biden to finally speak the truth about these governmental programs and their actual intent; make people dependent on government.

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Washington Post Accuses Obama of Lying

Posted by Steve Markowitz on February 26, 2014

4 PinocsThe Washington Post has once again attacked Pres. Obama’s credibility, awarding him their infamous “Four Pinocchio’s” for comment he made last week during the Democratic Governors Association dinner.  During the partisan event, Obama claimed that 7 million Americans currently have “access to health care for the first time because of Medicaid expansion.”  As the Post noted, this claim is patently false.

Each year millions go on and off Medicaid, as the Post indicated and further noted that there were approximately 6.3 million people deemed eligible for Medicaid in the last quarter of 2013, the number that probably led to Obama’s 7 million claim.  However, a substantial portion of these people were the normal Medicaid churn, having nothing to do with Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) with a Post stating:

(Obama) seems to be falling into the same trap as other Democrats, and some reporters, by assuming that everyone in the Medicaid list is getting health insurance for the first time because of the Affordable Care Act.  But that number is nowhere close to 7 million.  It could be as low as 1.1 million (Avalere) or as high as 2.6 million (Gaba.)  If one wanted to be generous, one could include people coming out of the woodwork, even though they would have been covered under the old law, but no one is really sure what that figure is.  In any case, no matter how you slice it, it does not add up to 7 million.

Is remarkable just how many outwardly false statements the President has made to the People.  The question is whether he is in fact that out of touch with reality or he is purposely lying for political gain.

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Congresswoman Ann Kilpatrick the Hypocrite

Posted by Steve Markowitz on January 17, 2014

Politicians on both sides of the aisle too often make promises and claims to the People during the political campaigns that do not match their deeds once elected.  Arizona Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick, Democrat representing Arizona’s First Congressional District, took this subterfuge to a new level in a recent advertisement for reelection.

In the video clip below, Kilpatrick has the gall to attack the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) even though she voted for it when the bill passed in Congress.  Once again a politician has proven that they have no shame.

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Obamacare, Coffeecare, What’s the Difference!

Posted by Steve Markowitz on January 2, 2014

Having trouble understanding why our President thinks he can manage America’s healthcare, one-sixth of our economy?  Maybe the video below will help.

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The Real Problems with Healthcare

Posted by Steve Markowitz on December 25, 2013

The current focus on healthcare in the United States is on the botched government website and rollout of Obamacare.  However, it is reasonable to assume that even the incompetence of government will ultimately get the website working.  More problematic will be the reality that follows that Obamacare has not fixed any of the underlying problems of the current healthcare system and its related costs and in fact may exasperate these problems.

Dr. Chad Krisel, M.D., recently posted an op-ed in the Asheville Citizen-Times titled Missing ingredient in the ACA, posted belowKrisel proffers the view that the very limited time primary care physicians have with patients is a key problem affecting America’s health care system that is not addressed by the Affordable Health Care Act.  This forces doctors to make quick decisions affecting their efficacy and leads to overuse of medications as quick fixes.

Krisel correctly points out that medical insurance was initially never intended to cover primary care needs.  In fact it is difficult to find insurance that covers any nonmedical item that covers such incidental costs.  This quirk in medical insurance increases overhead costs by about $83,000 per physician per year.  Increased overhead cost is a key driver forcing doctors to see more patients per day thereby lowering the quality of service and its efficacy.

Krisel also reminds us that many of the “illnesses” affecting modern society are the result of lifestyle choices including some types of diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.  Given that primary care physicians currently spend only about 10 minutes per patient, they go to the quickest solution which focuses on dispensing medication prescriptions, which do not get to the root cause of the illnesses.

A solution, according to Krisel, is to remove primary care physicians from being covered under healthcare insurance.  This will lower doctors’ overheads leading to lowered costs per minute of service and improve patient care that will ultimately lower the overall cost of healthcare in the United States.

The Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) is a bureaucratic nightmare that does nothing to lower the overall cost of healthcare.  This is a major flaw in the program. Out-of-the-box solutions are required to address the real problems.  The suggestion from this one small-town doctor is a reasonable starting point.

Missing ingredient in the ACA? Time by Chad Krisel, MD

Now that the Affordable Care Act is off and running, I am pleased to see that many more people will be protected against a financial catastrophe due to soaring health care costs.  At the same time, I am also very dissatisfied that the root of the problem with American healthcare has been largely ignored.  Namely, the ACA does very little to address the problem of status quo primary care – the lack of time that doctors have with patients.

The problem

Insurance was never meant to cover primary care.  The very purpose of insurance is to protect from catastrophic events.  We would never think to use home insurance for a small sink leak, but would do so if there was a catastrophic roof failure.  Similar to home insurance, the place of health insurance is to protect against financial catastrophe due to unforeseen events.  As insurance has taken more of a role of paying for routine primary care, we have seen the price go up and the quality go down.

Interacting with insurance companies forces a medical practice to pay about $83,000 per physician per year in extra overhead.  This creates a need for doctors to see an excessive volume of patients to meet their overhead costs.  This is what has led to the national average office visit length of 10 minutes or less.  Very few of the root causes of problems can be worked out in 10 minutes.  We also know that as visit length shortens, medication prescription increases.  Instead of solving the root cause of problems, doctors will prescribe medication to address symptoms, which has the possibility of causing still more problems.  This practice has contributed to the dismal statistic that iatrogenic (physician-caused) deaths are the third leading cause of death, after heart disease and cancer.  Of course, medications are needed at times, but nowhere near the rate of current use.  Surely there must be a better way to do things.

Many of the current epidemics afflicting our society are preventable and treatable through lifestyle choices that we make every day.  Type 2 diabetes, elevated cholesterol, and high blood pressure are prime examples.  As a physician, it is my duty to help guide and educate people in how to prevent problems first and, when necessary, treat with modalities that have the least chance of causing harm.  If I am to address the root cause of problems, then I need more than 10 minutes.

A solution

There is a solution to this problem.  Within primary care, a remedy is to remove insurance from the healthcare interaction. This idea is being propelled by a new movement that is sweeping across the country called Direct Primary Care.  Direct meaning directly between the doctor and the patient with no third-party middleman.  We have been practicing this model at Integrative Family Medicine for the past two years.  Removing insurance from our medical practice has allowed us to increase a patient’s office visit face time with physicians by two-three times the national average.  Since we have a fraction of the overhead of a standard medical practice, we are able to cut the cost dramatically for patients.  Patients are able to enjoy an average wait time of 5 minutes since there is less patient turnaround and no overbooking.

This combination allows us to see a diverse population of patients and spend the time that’s needed to address the underlying cause of problems.  Every day, we see people who are avoiding medication altogether or cutting in half the amount of medication they need.  They are living lives in more control of their own destinies, becoming empowered about nutrition and lifestyle choices that will benefit them for years to come.

Perhaps we can work on future national healthcare policy that seeks to bolster primary care by providing patients with what they most need from their doctors.  Time.

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Obama Brings in Former Microsoft Exec to Fix Healthcare.Gov

Posted by Steve Markowitz on December 17, 2013

The Wall Street Journal reported that the White House announced today that President Obama has brought in Kurt DelBene, a former high-level Microsoft executive, to fix the healthcare.gov website.  While bringing in a high-level tech company executive is a fine idea, it is three years late.

It is reported that over $300 million of taxpayer money and three years of effort have been spent creating the healthcare.gov website.  Yet it still does not work.  While DelBene, an engineer by training, should understand the issues with the troubled website, bringing him in at this late date is a PR stunt.  The website is flawed in design and implementation.  Bringing in even the most talented individual one week before Americans are required to sign up is laughable.

Mr. DelBene will replace Obama confidante Jeffrey Zients in managing website repairs.  Zients was previously brought in by the President as a supposed expert and quicklypromised to have the website operating by December 1.  That deadline passed with the website having significant issues, especially in the backend where billing occurs.

DelBene will report directly to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius.  Given that Sibelius has been responsible for the website since day one makes his PR stunt transparent.  After the announcement was made, Sibelius of DelBene: “Kurt has proven expertise in heading large, complex technology teams and in product development.  He will be a tremendous asset in our work.”  These comments begged the question that if such an asset was required, why wasn’t it added three years ago?

Remarkably, given the huge waste and incompetence shown in the implementation of Obamacare, not one high-level government official has been held accountable to the American people who they are supposed to serve.  Sibelius and others should have been fired for gross incompetence.  The fact that they have not demonstrates the inherent corruption in government.

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Pulling the Wagon or Taking a Ride

Posted by Steve Markowitz on December 13, 2013

It takes a special type of optimism to find some benefits within Obamacare.  We will share some with you today.

The Obamacare program and its rollout have been unmitigated failures even by the low standards we often place on government.  This debacle has open the eyes of many, including some that have previously placed significant trust in the benevolence and efficacy of governmental programs.  Given the failure of Obamacare and the likely pain it will inflict on many people, that trust has been severely eroded.  This will not only make passage of further large governmental programs problematic in the future, but also could become the starting point of a movement to defang the federal government’s power.

Blog reader John sent in the video below of Dinesh D’Souza eloquently stripping off the camouflage of government benevolence.  It also defines the issue of an increasing number of Americans who take from a government, which is being supported by depreciating number of benefactors (taxpayers).  While this video was posted on YouTube over a year ago, it’s six minutes are profound and describes an unsustainable direction for the United States.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=rEM4NKXK-iA

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